Superstition Mountains, Gold Canyon, Arizona, 2013
By juxtaposing a forest of Saguaro Cactus against the mountain that fills the background of this image, I am able to create a repetitive flow of vertical lines that bind these works of nature together. The slender Saguaros point directly to the vertical markings that cover the face and crown of the mountain behind them.
Life imitates art, Gilbert, Arizona, 2013
On the way home from my visit to the Superstition Mountains, we stopped for dinner at a restaurant in Gilbert. While waiting our turn for service, I had plenty of time to study an agricultural mural that covered a wall lined with booths. I noticed that small tin pots were placed at the spots where the booth seats met the wall mural. Each pot held a small floral display. I moved in on one of the pots to reveal detail in the floral arrangement, and at the same time, crop the mural so that part of an irrigation canal, as well a pipe leading out of it, created an arching frame for part of the wheat field itself. The blue water in the canal offers a perfect match for the blue pipe that carries the water into the fields. Meanwhile, the rhythms of the floral display repeat the curving rhythms within the large sprays of wheat at the bottom of the mural, while the booth itself, as well as the elements within the mural, repeat this diagonal geometric pattern throughout the image.
Shop window, Little Five Points, Atlanta, Georgia, 2013
A tree, a shop window, and a building façade join forces here to create a harmonious image rooted in both rhythm and pattern. I noticed that the bends in the tree trunk just outside the window seemed a perfect match for the arm and elbow of the purple mannequin featured in the display. Meanwhile, a graffiti artist had framed the window itself in wavy black bars that repeat the implied body language of the body behind the glass. The golden color of the purse in the window is also replicated by the color of the tree itself, while the red decorative elements floating around the edge of the window seem to spring from the ends of the back bars that press in on them.
Spires and trees, Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia, 2013
Oakland Cemetery is the oldest cemetery and one of the largest green spaces in Atlanta. Founded in 1850, it was located well out of town. Today, the city has enveloped it – it now stands at Atlanta’s heart. 70,000 people are now buried here, yet the vast burial ground still retains its character as a classic Victorian-style “garden cemetery.” As every fan of the film “Gone with the Wind” knows, the city Atlanta was burned to the ground following its Union occupation in 1864. But because the cemetery was then located on the outskirts of town, its monuments remain unscathed. In this image, I link the classic spires of the Victorian age with the repeating pointed thrusts of the graceful Cypress trees and the monuments that surround them. The large tree in the center of image, bare of leaves, reaches out to embrace the spires as well.
Deco sunset, Palm Springs, California, 2013
During my four day stay in Palm Springs, I looked for a single moment in light, time, and space that best expressed the ambiance of Palm Springs itself. I did not have to go very far to find it – this scene appeared within our hotel room window on our final evening of the trip. To make it work, I used a wideangle focal length to frame the entire shape of that window within my camera’s frame. I used spot metering to expose on the golden unbroken line of cumulous clouds flowing over the distant mountain range, causing the rhythmic pattern of palm trees in the foreground to become silhouettes. An irrelevant parking lot filled the bottom half of my frame, so I put it into deep shadow, once again using my camera's spot-metering mode. The diagonal slash of the receding window frame envelops the rhythmic march of the palms within a vanishing parallelogram that would be quite at home in the Art Deco world of the 1920s, 30s and 40s. Palm Springs established itself as a premier winter desert resort during that era, and I made this image to celebrate its ambiance.
Street food, Cuenca, Ecuador, 2011
My eye was drawn to this scene by the bright red and yellow poncho worn by the woman at left. I noticed that the poncho was decorated with small discs, almost exactly the size of the white wafers being sold by the woman at right. I watched as she moved closer to the case of wafers, giving the entire bottom half of the image a rhythmic flow of differently colored discs. When the child in the woman’s arms reacted to something off camera, I made this image.
Double doors, Cuenca, Ecuador, 2011
The doors repeat each other, as does the body lean of the people within them. They do not seem to acknowledge each other – each of them seems intent on simultaneously observing something else that is happening somewhere beyond the right hand edge of my frame. The repetitive design of the building’s façade links the pair of doors with a series of repetitive stacked horizontal lines. The woman came to her door with a broom in hand, while the man stood in his doorway with only time to kill. Yet each of these people are linked in this moment of repetitive glances.
Pattern at work, Wall drawing by Sol LeWitt, MASS MoCA, North Adams, Massachusetts, 2011
Le Witt’s wall drawings now on display at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art were created over the past 40 years. Most of them express their power through pattern – a repeated sequence of forms, shapes, or lines. Le Witt designed the exhibit himself, shortly before he died in 2007. He often paired differing patterns, sometimes placing them on walls that converged in the corners of the display rooms. I found this pairing at a corner, and tilt my camera to present LeWitt’s patterns as diagonal patterns colliding within the rectangular frame of my camera. The frame only shows part of the overall design, creating an abstraction to allow my viewers to complete the illusion within their own imaginations.
Love is at hand, Scottsdale Civic Center, Scottsdale, Arizona. 2011
A child grabs hold of Robert Indiana’s famous “Love” sculpture as the sun casts her shadow on the huge last letter of the word. Her other hand comes to her chin, as she pauses to think about what the adult behind her may be saying. Her shadow conveys how she feels as a silhouetted profile. I was able to catch the shadow of one hand relating to her actual hands, as well as to the hand of the adult. All of these hands provide a rhythmic journey through the image, and provide the inspiration for the title.
Dolphin pair, off Dominica, French West Indies, 2010
This pair of rare Fraser’s Dolphins was running just off the bow our small whale-watching craft. They were so close to us that I made this image with a relatively short 90mm medium telephoto focal length. The pair breaks water in perfect natural rhythm, exactly side by side, and throwing forward nearly the exact amount spray, an example of instinctive rhythm. Our guide told us that he had not seen this species of Dolphin in the waters off Dominica since 2006.
Leaders and followers, Scottsdale Civic Plaza, Scottsdale, Arizona, 2010
The four men in this image are on their way to a meeting – the man who heads the procession holds a two-way radio in his hand as three others dutifully follow his lead. I built this image around the repeating rhythms of the backlighted silhouetted figures as they relate to the tree trunk that divides the group in half.
Top cat, Library of Amet III, Topkapi Palace, Istanbul, Turkey, 2009
The Topkapi Palace, home of the Ottoman Sultans for 400 years, is now a rambling museum. Among its treasures is a 1719 fountain, set into the wall below the main entrance to the Library of Sultan Amet III. Cats are everywhere in Istanbul, including one playing on the rim of this fountain’s bowl. I noticed that the cat’s markings, including the rings on its tail, rhythmically echoed the fountain’s gilded decorations and vertical lines. I waited until the cat turned its back on me and gazed upwards, as if to admire those decorations, and made this photograph.